Madonna and filmmaker Guy Ritchie will end their marriage after nearly eight years, the couple said in a joint statement yesterday.
The couple asked the media to "maintain respect for their family at this difficult time," said the statement, e-mailed to the Associated Press by Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's publicist.
A financial settlement has not been agreed upon by the couple, who must also decide child-custody issues.
Madonna and Ritchie married in December 2000 at a Scottish castle. The couple have two children: Rocco, 8, and David Banda, 3, who was adopted from Malawi in 2006. Madonna also has a 12-year-old daughter, Lourdes, from her relationship with personal trainer Carlos Leon.
Book award nominees
Talk about second chances: Peter Matthiessen, 81, received a National Book Award nomination yesterday for Shadow Country, an 890-page revision of a trilogy of novels he released in the 1990s.
Others in the fiction category include Marilynne Robinson for Home, a companion novel to her Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead; Aleksandar Hemon for The Lazarus Project; and debut authors Salvatore Scibona (The End) and Rachel Kushner (Telex From Cuba).
The nonfiction finalists were Jane Mayer for The Dark Side, an investigation into the war against terrorism; Annette Gordon-Reed's The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family; Jim Sheeler's Final Salute ; Joan Wickersham's The Suicide Index; and Drew Gilpin Faust's Civil War history, This Republic of Suffering.
Richard Howard and Mark Doty were nominees for poetry, while Laurie Halse Anderson was cited for young people's literature.
Winners, each of whom receive $10,000, will be announced Nov. 19.
Baby on board
Country singer Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley of According to Jim, are expecting their second child in April, People magazine's Web site reported yesterday.
The couple have a son who was born last year.
Is the 'C' for comedy?
The latest entrant into the TV comedy business is ... CNN?
The news network said yesterday that it is starting a Saturday night show with comedian D.L. Hughley. The show, tentatively titled D. L. Hughley Breaks the News, will air live at 10 p.m. Saturdays and replay 24 hours later. Hughley describes it as a news-oriented talk show; it will make its debut Oct. 25.
'Desperate' actor injured
Desperate Housewives actor Gale Harold was in critical condition yesterday and was awaiting further tests after he crashed his motorcycle the day before, an L.A. hospital spokeswoman said.
His publicist, Nancy Seltzer, said yesterday that Harold fractured his shoulder, and Housewives executive producer Marc Cherry said he apparently has swelling on the brain but is expected to recover.
Harold plays Jackson, the boyfriend of Teri Hatcher's character, who has a pivotal role in the fifth season's eighth episode, which finds several Wisteria Lane residents trapped inside a nightclub fire.
Spears' case starts
Jury selection has begun in Britney Spears' driver's license case. The first slate of potential jurors arrived yesterday at the San Fernando Valley, Calif., courtroom where Spears' case will be heard.
The 26-year-old pop singer is charged with a single count of driving without a valid license. She faces jail time and a fine if convicted.
Actress Angela Lansbury, 83.
Actress Suzanne Somers, 62.
Actor Tim Robbins, 50.
Rock musician Flea, 46.
Jazz musician Roy Hargrove, 39.
Singer John Mayer, 31.